Creating a strong password is an essential step to protecting yourself and your company online. Using long and complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cyber risks. Of course, nobody is immune to cyber threats, but when following these tips, you can minimize your chances of an incident.

 

Use a long passphrase   You should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. For example, you can use a passphrase such as a news headline or even the title of the last book you read. Then add in some punctuation and capitalization.

Don’t make passwords easy to guess   Do not include personal information in your password such as your name or pets’ names. This information is often easy to find on social media, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack your accounts.

Avoid using common words in your password   Substitute letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter “A” and an exclamation point (!) can replace the letters “I” or “L.”

Get creative   Use phonetic replacements, such as “PH” instead of “F”. Or make deliberate, but obvious misspellings, such as “enjin” instead of “engine.”

Mum’s the word   Don’t tell anyone your passwords and watch for attackers trying to trick you into revealing your passwords through email or calls. Every time you share or reuse a password, it chips away at your security by opening more avenues in which it could be misused or stolen.

Different account or device, different password   Having different passwords for various accounts and devices helps prevent cyber criminals from gaining broad access and further protects you in the event of a breach.

Double your login protection   Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.

Utilize a password manager to remember all your long passwords   The most secure way to store all of your unique passwords is by using a password manager. With just one master password, a computer can generate and retrieve passwords for every account that you have – protecting your online information, including credit card numbers, answers to security questions, and more.